Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenJuly 16, 2014   

Today's Photograph . . . . God Can Take Our Worst Situations and Make Something Beautiful Out Of It . . . Trust Him  (Dave M)
Bible Study Verse
Psalms 107: 29
He stilled the storm  to a whisper; the waves  of the sea  were hushed. (NIV)
Have you ever just been stuck in an awful storm that shut all your activities and plans down? A few years ago, we were up in Pukaskwa Provincial Park on a backpacking trip along the coast of Lake Superior when a three day rain/wind storm shut our trip down. We were planning on hiking for about a week in God's country. 

The trail at Pukaskwa follows the unforgiving rocky lakeshore. Either your group hikes in and out on the same trail, you hike in and have a charter boat swing by and pick you up to take you back, or you have the boat take you out first and drop you off with the idea that you will then hike all the way back to the ranger station. On our trip, we were going to hike the trail out and then have a charter boat come and pick us up at the end of the trail. 

Well, we were ¾ of the way through our trip when a doozer of a storm kicked up. We had thunderstorms off and on, high winds, and anywhere between 8 to 12 foot waves coming into the cove we had found ourselves in. The rocks in this area have lichen on them, and when they get wet, it is the equivalent of walking on black ice. Backpackers are encouraged to simply wait a storm out until the rocks are able to dry because of how dangerous it can be! 
Well, we decided to wait the storm out and shut our trip down until the weather got better. For three days, we waited for the storm to stop. We played games, created adventures, explored the area . . . but the winds never died down. Because of the high winds, no boats were out on the lake and our marine radio we had packed to communicate with the Coast Guard in case of an emergency, basically became useless. 
We were stranded and had no outside communication. Miraculously, a group of kayakers landed in the same bay at about the same time. Since we were all stranded together, we got to know each other a bit, and eventually they offered for us to let us use their satellite phone to try to get a hold of our charter boat captain. 
As it turned out, he was stranded on an island in the middle of Lake Superior himself and couldn't go out on the lake until things calmed down. Since we were nearing the end of our trip, we were also practically out of food. It wasn't a good situation at all! We had had enough, simply wanted out, and had no means to make any of it happen.
(Dave M)
Action Point
Raising kids in this day and age is not easy! The world offers a million distractions and options for our kids that none of us ever had to deal with when we were our kids' age. Navigating the teenage years as a parent can be incredibly hard and trying. I have great kids, but they are still kids. 
No matter what we've done to prepare them for adulthood, each of them still has the option of going their own way. You could have been in church regularly, prayed daily, been a regular part of a small group, and done many things "the right way," but in spite of your wonderful example or Godly leadership, you find yourself in the middle of a storm with your child(ren). This is a hard place to be, for sure. BUT you cannot collapse, fold, or give up. 
No matter what your kids have done, God loves them - even more than you do. Stick it out, stay involved, and love them through the high winds. It doesn't mean that you have to go along with bad decisions or that you don't have the right to address the problems. Even though you don't know when, how, or where, the storm will end one day. 
In the meantime while you wait, pray and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in this area of your family life. God can take our worst situations and make something beautiful out of it . . . trust Him.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Having a tarp with you on a backpacking trip that is designated for simply being a wind block can be a huge asset in the middle of a wind storm.